Last week’s post about Fantasy Relationships seems to have hit home for many of you! There were a lot of page hits and email responses to this problem that affects so many women.
I ended that post with a number of questions about why we as women are so vulnerable to Fantasy Relationships and why some men have such an incredible power over us. And, I concluded with the notion that Emotional Chastity is something we must all strive for.
Next week, I will expand on the importance of Emotional Chastity (what is it? how do you practice and obtain it?). We will talk about the importance of remaining asleep in the will of God until it pleases Him to awaken you and not “stirring” things up while you wait. (Song of Songs 8:4)
But before we can practice and obtain emotional chastity, I think it is necessary to understand the “Why?” behind our emotions and desires. Why are we so vulnerable to fantasy relationships, why are we tempted to chase men and why do we pin our hopes on Mr. Wrong and Mr. Almost Right? Why do we find it so hard to remain asleep until the Lord pleases?
I hear you scoffing at the old fashion notion of Original Sin but please hear me out. Once I made the connection between The Fall of Mankind and my feelings, emotions, desires and weaknesses, it all began to make sense, especially these words of Sacred Scripture:
“Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you” Genesis 3:16
Your Desire Will Be For Your Husband
Seems like a simple little statement, right? And, it actually sounds like a good thing. But, the statement is found in the chapter of Genesis following the sin of Adam and Eve. The statement describes the consequence of Original Sin for us women. Remember, the sin of our first parents profoundly and negatively affected their relationship and this Original Sin continues to negatively affect our relationships with men and ourselves.
So, what could the statement, “…Your desire shall be for your husband…” possibly mean? What is the consequence for us women? I think the consequence is that the process of waiting for our husbands will be marked by great desire and suffering. Just like in the Song of Songs, it will be a gut-wrenching experience of waiting, hoping and longing for our beloved. Something our first mother, Eve, did not experience before The Fall. Nor did our Blessed Mother, Mary who was conceived without sin, experience it. But, we do.
He Will Rule Over You
Now, how about the second part of the consequence, “…he will rule over you.”? Who will rule over you? I think the desire for our husband and the thought of being with him rules over us during the wait. This contributes to Fantasy Relationships, temptations to chase men and take control of our future. We are in a state of longing and anticipation. This condition of desire and longing can, if not controlled, rule over us, our emotions, our actions and our thought life.
Theology of the Body
Have you read it? Do you know what it is? As Pope, Blessed John Paul II dedicated his first major teaching project to sexuality and the dignity of the human person. He called the project Theology of the Body (TOB) and delivered it in 129 short talks in Rome during his Wednesday audiences between 1979 and 1984.
Blessed Pope John Paul II had a brilliant mind and therefore much of TOB goes over my poor little head. But, there are some things that just jump out at me such as this concept of The Fall impacting our relationship with ourselves and the opposite sex and that there is hope for overcoming the effects of Original Sin.
Taste The Freedom
Here are some of the words from Blessed Pope John Paul II’s TOB which jump out at me:
“…..Whoever allows these words to act in his heart will hear an “echo” of God’s original plan for sexuality. He will taste the freedom that he lost and long for its restoration. He will feel in the depths of his heart the tragedy of sin and cry out in repentance, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ will save him….”
I am convinced that we hear this echo of God’s original plan and that we long for the restoration and taste of the freedom it gives. And, that we feel this loss and longing in the depths of our hearts.
The Heart: A Battlefield Between Love and Lust
During his Wednesday talk on July 23, 1980, Pope John Paul II addressed the heart and how it is a battlefield between love and lust. Now, it is easy to think of lust being only an issue for men, right? But I wonder if this desire for our husbands while we wait, if left uncontrolled, can become a form of lust? If we do not have our emotions and thought life in check, we are just as vulnerable as men to lust, although maybe in a different form. Men may experience physical lust but we women can experience emotional lust.
What is lust? It means “to use” and to treat a person like an object. The human person is a body and a soul. The Nuptial meaning of the body is the gift of the whole person, both body and soul. The human person, the gift, cannot be separated. When we pin our emotions on a man who is not our beloved, we are experiencing lust because that person has not been given to us as a gift. Therefore, we are, in a sense, using them.
Hopefully, this profound insight into your thoughts and emotions has encouraged you rather than discourage you! You are not crazy. This desire for your husband and this feeling that you are being yanked around like an emotional wind sock is normal.
But, I am not giving you a free pass to continue with your thoughts and emotions unchecked. We are not supposed to be subject to our unruly passions.
You see, what I have described is the disordered part of our nature. Chastity, both physical and emotional, is a call into order our emotions, habits and desires. How do we do this? Remember last week I gave you the 3 Date Rule?
“…Do not even consider a guy or allow him to occupy your heart or thoughts until he has taken you on 3 dates. 3 real dates where he pays and impresses you…”
Well, that is only the beginning. There is so much more to Emotional Chastity and I will share with you my recommendations for obtaining it next week! Hint: It is about the freedom offered by Jesus Christ and the power of His grace! In the meantime, you remain in my prayers.
God love and bless you!
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